The Dallas Cowboys insist they aren’t getting caught up with the various scenarios that need to happen for them to make the playoffs.
“Honestly, I’m focused on my own business. I know how important it is for us to win and that’s the only thing we can control,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “The rest is kind of crossing fingers and I guess hoping, so for us it’s just about winning out, and that’s all we’re focused on.”
It’s a good thing the Cowboys, who play at Oakland Sunday night, haven’t paid too close of attention to the playoff picture. They’ve won two straight and haven’t leapt a single team in the wild card race. Losses to the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams makes things even more precarious.
The website, FiveThirtyEight, gives the Cowboys just a 4 percent chance to make the postseason. The Cowboys have an 11 percent chance to make it, according to MakeNFLPlayoffs.com.
“You hear all the things [about scenarios], but as cliché as it might sound, we really have to keep winning the next game,” center Travis Frederick said. “You talk about we have to win all the games, well, you can’t win all the games until you win this game. We really our focused on this week and trying to go out and get a win. I know that that’s pretty much the only way we can keep ourselves in the conversation.”
Yes, staying in the conversation is the best the Cowboys can do for now. The odds are stacked against them as they’re the worst positioned 7-6 team in the NFC. On top of that, none of the 7-6 teams – Cowboys, Packers and Detroit Lions – would even make the playoffs if they started today. The same can even be said about the 8-5 Seattle Seahawks, who face the Cowboys on Christmas Eve.
The two wild cards right now belong to the Carolina Panthers (9-4) and Atlanta Falcons (8-5). The Panthers and Falcons still have a chance to win the NFC South title, too, which would go to the New Orleans Saints (9-4) at the moment.
To say the least, the Cowboys are a long shot team to make consecutive playoffs for the first time in more than a decade. But they’re still in the mix and know that a loss officially kills their chances.
“If we don’t win out, then we really have no chance,” safety Jeff Heath said. “We have to control what we can control. Then after the game we’ll look at what happened around the league and kind of see where we’re at.
“But at the end of the day we know if we don’t take care of our business then it’s not going to matter.”